More than three quarters (76%) of consumers say they would buy from a brand they feel connected to over a competitor. Taking the time to build a community around your brand is invaluable to 76% of your consumers. Tapping into the social and emotional needs of your consumer is not only the most powerful form of marketing but can also motivate brand loyalty that no product or service could emulate. Lululemon for example, has created a strategy that is local instead of global. Despite having 521 store locations worldwide, each store has the opportunity to independently feature local leaders. This is achieved through their ambassador program. Each store location has a unique set of photography plastered throughout the store that features leaders who actually live in the community. This taps into the emotional and social needs of the consumer that we touched on earlier. It invokes a sense of belonging and keeps the consumers coming back. Now, let’s dive into why community-based marketing is so powerful:
1. Customer Experience:
Having a strong understanding of your customer demographic is textbook marketing. The only way to successfully target your desired demographic is to know who you’re marketing to. Characteristics like gender, age, income, and interests all are essential. However, adding another layer of insight regarding their location provides an extremely authentic touchpoint in the customer journey. The insight of a local community can deliver very niche and relatable content that otherwise would not be available. This is the power of local rather than global marketing.
2. Word of Mouth:
In a recent survey, 72% of customers stated that they are willing to share good experiences with others. Loyal customers are the foundation of every strong standing business. In fact, 90% of people are more likely to trust and buy from a brand recommended to them by a friend. Word of mouth instills a level of trust unlike any other form of paid advertising. For example, I’m part of a local food spotters’ group that is constantly posting reviews, specials and overall good experiences at local restaurants. Positioning your brand in front of local residents will inevitably bring in more business, especially if you are a single standing restaurant.
You’ve probably heard the saying “it’s not what you know, but who you know” and this statement is 100% true. Local marketing is a great way to network with other local leaders and businesses. Partnering with established businesses in your area makes it much easier for locals to connect with your business on a personal level. It brings a mutually understood culture to the table that would not be available without local networking.
In summary, choosing to market local instead of global is powerful for every business. From corporations like Lululemon and stand-alone restaurants in your hometown, it’s a market worth tapping into for many reasons. The top reasons being better customer experience, greater chance of word of mouth and local networking opportunities. These benefits are presented only when businesses choose to market in communities and that is its unique power.